News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

Maple Leaf Life header image 1
 

Public meeting tonight on Banner Way safety

March 30th, 2016 by Mike

Thanks to Thor for emailing:

Today I got a mailer about a meeting tomorrow about safety improvements to Banner Way. It’s at the Fairview Church at 844 N.E. 78th St. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Maybe it’s worth a post?

Seems like it should be. (Banner Way is the street in Maple Leaf that in part parallels  Interstate 5 on our western border.)

Little hard to say, though. Here’s the  link, the meeting is tonight.

Here’s the (gist of) the text from SDOT:

Following the collaborative work with the community for the NE 75th Street project, we’re continuing this work through Banner Way NE to implement the Pedestrian Master Plan and Bicycle Master Plan. We are committed to building a transportation infrastructure that supports a safe and vibrant community.

We’ll work with the community to consider changes to this street in an effort to bring down speeds and make the roadway safer for neighbors and all travelers, as part of our Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on Seattle’s streets by 2030.

Together, we will determine the specific nature and design elements of these changes through the process described below. New safety measures may include, but not be limited to: signage improvements, arterial traffic calming, roadway design changes, traffic signal modifications, pavement repair, and safety enhancements for people walking and biking.

→ 9 Comments Tags: , , ,   Share

New light rail taxes and Councilwoman Juarez

March 26th, 2016 by Mike

Update: Seattle Transit Blog has an overview here.

Speaking of transit; two things:

1) Sound Transit this week released preliminary proposals for a $50 billion expansion that would cost homeowners an average of $400 annually – apparently forever.

From The Seattle Times:

This fall’s Sound Transit 3 ballot measure would deliver light rail to Ballard as late as 22 years from now, while Everett would wait 25 years, under a draft the agency’s governing board issued Thursday.

Or Publicola:

The Sound Transit board stressed yesterday that there are some “early wins” to address immediate transportation needs (and presumably to get voters excited about something that’s happening sooner than your grandson’s bris) such as improvements on the Rapid Ride lines.

2) Meanwhile, Debora Juarez, the Seattle city councilwoman who represents almost all of Maple Leaf, criticized the proposal because it doesn’t prioritize a light rail station at Northeast 130th Street. (This is one of her top three priorities.)

The draft Sound Transit 3 proposal designates the potential boon of a NE 130th Street Station as a “provisional” project. This means that no funding is currently included in the package, and that the Sound Transit board would need to secure funding to make this station a reality. This is unacceptable.

Her full post is here.

→ 9 Comments Tags: , , , ,   Share

Sponsor (advertise with us)


 

Neighbors want action against park graffiti

March 26th, 2016 by Mike

We do have a mural in the park, but also:

“Speaking of art in the park, how about the new 3 graffiti tags on the hitting wall, on the river stones on SE corner, and one stone on path outward to 88th? ‘GI’ is the tag. Kind of a bummer,” says Jarvis  on our previous post.

On the same post, An Observer says: “I have seen an uptick in tagging along Northgate Way, and Lake City Way close to Nathan Hale. Seems every five years or so a new crop of taggers comes along only to be otherwise engaged (jail, work, or adult responsibilities) soon enough.”

And over at Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf, Grace is leading the charge:

I am so sick of seeing graffiti on everything now. Idiots tagged one of the beautiful rocks at the north entrance of the park that leads to 12th. The more we get used to graffiti the more it will proliferate.

Before I wait around for city officials to clean up graffiti I’m ready to do it myself to get rid of it before more people get ideas. I’m happy to try to clean off that rock if anybody can suggest to me what I can get that will do it.

And she’s getting support, from these and eight other responses:

I would happily offer up some elbow grease, i.e. join in on efforts to clean it up, just name the time this weekend and I should be able to be there. I agree with the comments about being persistent with getting rid of it; if left it looks like no one cares it is there. Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point has a fascinating chapter all about graffiti – best way to combat it is quickly and consistently remove it.

I have a hand held water jet cleaner. Works quite well for cleaning rough surfaces. If you get your hand in front of the pinpoint stream you can draw blood and much language.. Is the approximate address NE 89th and 12th Ave NE ?

Here’s the best way to report graffiti at the park.

→ 10 Comments Tags: ,   Share

It’s here! New bus routes start now

March 25th, 2016 by Mike

Update: Here’s another shot at this from The Seattle Times.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things.”

Actually, no.

The time has come to note that bus service changes as the week ends.

Trying to talk about those changes is a thankless task.

Exhibit A: Comments on our last bus post. (See: “No clue.” Also, there’s a lot of good information in those comments.)

Exhibit B: This befuddling series of videos from Metro about the changes.

Fact is, there are enough changes that folks need to scowl at their own routes. Here is Metro’s site for changes beginning March 26nd.

Bottom line: Some bus routes that until now went downtown will instead go to Sound Transit’s newly opened University of Washington light rail station.

Is that good? Here, in the above comments, is Lisa’s report from Tuesday:

I tried a “dry run” today to see what it will entail to get from downtown to the corner of 85th and 15th NE by using the link light rail to transfer to the 73. Looks as if ST has worked its usual magic of making a 25 minute or so trip now take 45-50 minutes with a 1/3 mile walk included (this would be for riders taking the 73 from downtown)….

I’ve contacted Metro and Debora Juarez’s office’s office about this – neither have responded to email. This change is definitely for the worse …. I don’t know if we can get anywhere, but this is a real nightmare scenario with four buses (66, 68, 72, and 73) in our area being eliminated entirely and others reconfigured to connect at the UW station.

More positively, the Seattle Transit Blog has a piece here: ULink Bus Restructure Begins Saturday: More Service, More Transfers, Faster Trips.

Let’s not lose the sheer magnitude of Metro’s bus restructure, the largest in decades and one that will change tens of thousands of daily trips, mostly for the better.

The basic theme of the restructure, especially in NE Seattle, is higher frequency service paid for with a reliance on ULink and increased transfers. The ease and reliability of these transfers is an open question, and their success or failure will largely determine the public’s view of this restructure over time.

→ 11 Comments Tags: , , , , , ,   Share

It’s Spring – and we have new art to say so

March 25th, 2016 by Mike

The mural at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park. Spring returns today, followed by rain Saturday night.

Remember the community Easter egg hunt here Saturday at 11 a.m.

→ 2 Comments Tags: , ,   Share

Councilwoman Debora Juarez’s top three tasks

March 20th, 2016 by Mike

Debora Juarez,  the Seattle city councilwoman representing virtually all of Maple Leaf, has posted this guest column over at CityLiving.com: A lot accomplished in first 100 days.

Specifically three things:

In our first 100 days in office, we set out with three goals to deliver on the promise of district representation. First, we aspired to create momentum around the three major capital projects planned for our district. Second, we planned district tours of major enterprises in North Seattle. Third, we opened a district office, where our constituents could speak with my staff and myself without the need to travel downtown to City Hall.

The district office is at North Seattle College, College Center Building, Room 1451, though I can’t seem to find a link to it on her web site.

The capital projects are:

1) The new north police substation at Northeast 130th Street and Aurora Avenue North.

2) The oft-discussed pedestrian bridge between North Seattle College and the Northgate Transit Center. From the city’s web site:

With the passage of the Move Seattle Levy, the Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge project has acquired full funding for the construction of the bridge. The project team will continue to refine the design of the bridge.

3) “Finally, I have been advocating for our district’s second light rail stop, slated for Northeast 130th Street and Interstate-5. This station would serve the Lake City, Bitter Lake and Haller Lake communities.”

There is no mention of Pronto, which surprisingly, continues to be a flash point over the city budget (see comments at link).

Her guest column is here. Juarez’s own blog features “Happy International Women’s Day.”

→ 3 Comments Tags: , ,   Share

Found: Black Lab with no collar

March 19th, 2016 by Mike

Steph emails:

We found a black lab with no collar and are looking for his owner. We currently have him in our backyard.

Please call 206.420.1585

Our neighbor ran him up to maple leaf vet to see if he is chipped. We’re at 8th ave NE @104th.

→ 1 Comment Tags: ,   Share

About that flashing red light at NE 95th St.

March 17th, 2016 by Mike

For those who’ve been wondering about the flashing red light at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 95th Street:

“The wind storm caused an outage and the controller at this intersection had a difficult time restoring from the loss of power. We ended up having to replace the controller yesterday in the afternoon,” the Seattle transportation department reports this morning.

For those who haven’t, the pedestrian-activated red light at that intersection suddenly turned on as a flashing red light after this weekend’s windstorm.

Traditionally that makes it a four-way stop, except that the lights only face north and south on Roosevelt. Which created some confusion.

→ 2 Comments Tags: ,   Share

We’re Number One (in car prowls)

March 15th, 2016 by Mike

Seattle Police, over at Nextdoor, today posted:

“To date there have been almost 3,000 car prowls in the city for 2016. This number is up more than 500 from last year.”

In an accompanying graphic, police have identified the top 12 sites to get your car prowled.

Northgate Mall led all the rest with 17 prowls; downtown came in second with 11.

As it happens, this is actual news. Northgate has long been a hot spot, but Capitol Hill was the leader two years ago.

Police have tips on not being a victim:

(more…)

→ 3 Comments Tags: , , ,   Share

What is Councilwoman Debora Juarez thinking?

March 14th, 2016 by Mike

Note that the original question – what went wrong with the March 1 vote? – remains.

The six City Council members sitting next to one another at this table on March 1 either could or couldn’t count to six.

Update: Councilwoman Juarez’s staff has sent me a statement (!). Here it is:

“After careful deliberation, today I voted yes on legislation which removed restrictions on $1.4 million of $5 million previously budgeted for the Pronto system by council vote in November of 2015. Today’s action allowed the Executive to purchase the bike share system’s assets from Pronto.

Had this proposal failed, the city would have been obligated to repay $1 million in federal grant money and the three thousand yearly members of our bike share system would be left without a service they paid into.

The introduction of the Pronto bike share system in Seattle has faced serious problems since its launch in October 2014. I share the concerns of Seattleites who look at our major challenges citywide and debate whether money should be spent on a program that has so far not lived up to expectations. This is why I also voted for the successful amendments to the final ordinance that significantly increase council oversight and accountability for this program.

I am looking forward to enhancing the transparency, service area equity, and overall vision of bike share in Seattle. Today’s action gives us the best chance at achieving this goal.”

– Councilmember Debora Juarez, March 14, 2016

Update: She voted “yes” to save Pronto. The full council voted 7-2 in favor, with Maple Leaf’s other councilman, Rob Johnson, also voting yes. Opposed were Lisa Herbold (west Seattle/South Park) and Tim Burgess (at large).

————————————

On the first day of the month a Seattle City Council committee deadlocked 3-3 on bailing out the failing Pronto bike rental service.

Except it didn’t.

The record now reads that newly elected Councilwoman Debora Juarez, who represents north Seattle including virtually all of Maple Leaf,  actually voted to save the system.

That was not the vote announced at the meeting and heard by the six council members present, and by support staff.

What happened?

A week ago today, on Monday, March 7,  we emailed Juarez’s legislative assistant, BrynDel Swift (bryndel.swift@seattle.gov), to ask.

We’re following the Pronto vote and I’ve been keeping an eye out for Councilwoman Juarez’s statement on her vote last Tuesday. Somehow I’ve missed it, but am quite interested. Can you provide? Thanks.

No answer.

So two days later on Wednesday, March 9th, we forwarded the email to the rest of her staff, Mercedes Elizalde (mercedes.elizalde@seattle.gov), Tyler Emsky (tyler.emsky@seattle.gov) , Sabrina Bolieu (sabrina.bolieu@seattle.gov), and to Juarez herself (debora.juarez@seattle.gov).

No answer. And we haven’t seen it answered elsewhere, either. (Except, kind of, here.)

Our earlier post on Pronto, including updated links to other news organizations’ stories, is here.

In comments there, and elsewhere, Pronto seems to have become a stand-in for how the city prioritizes its spending.

An example: In Danny Westneat’s Seattle Times column last week on a Greenwood food bank closing for lack of city funding, one commentator wrote:

Explain how the city has millions of dollars to spend on a bloated failed bike share program which most citizens don’t want or use while this needed food bank program is shut down. Misguided priorities and lack of common sense.

And another:

OK Debora Juarez: Here’s where you show you’re the adult in the room. Instead of voting yes on that losing proposition Pronto how about using those funds to keep this food bank going? Things like food banks are important. Pronto is just a Murray dream that ends up being a nightmare for everyone else. I had great hopes for you when I cast my ballot for you but now I’m not so sure. So far all I’ve seen from you is more of the same council we had before the election.

The full City Council vote on Pronto is set for this afternoon.

→ 30 Comments Tags: , , ,   Share

“Make sure you have batteries!” Sunday storm

March 12th, 2016 by Mike

Update Sunday March 13:

5  p.m.: Map is back. 51,000.

4:30 p.m. The Seattle City Light outage map appears to be down.

2 p.m. Lights flickering. Up by Northgate, 4,400 without power. Citywide, 28,000 41,000 46,000 48,000 out.

Winds at Maple Leaf Life South to 34 40 51 mph.

Cliff Mass: Windstorm Update: Could This Be a Big Fizzle over Puget Sound?

Today’s weather: Roily.

“Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 1 p.m. Steady temperature around 48. South wind 14 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.”

Sunday’s weather: “Make sure you have batteries!” (Cliff Mass – Sunday Windstorm.)

The National Weather Service – Seattle has issued a high wind watch beginning Sunday afternoon.

WINDS…SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 60 MPH ARE POSSIBLE.

*IMPACTS…FAIRLY WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES AND DOWNED TREES ARE POSSIBLE, ALONG WITH SOME DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS.

Timing: Sunday afternoon through late Sunday night.

Winds hit 39 mph here during Thursday’s storm. Thousands lost power.

Cliff Mass: “Bottom line: The south/central coast will get hit hard, with gusts reaching 50-70 mph. For Puget Sound, it will probably be similar to the storm of this week, but it could be worse.”

→ 1 Comment Tags: , , , ,   Share

‘Show Greenwood Some Love’ and other ways to help Greenwood businesses and neighbors

March 11th, 2016 by Mike

Brenda emails:

Reading about the explosion in Greenwood and how it has severally impacted those business made me think it would be great if the Maple Leaf neighborhood put together some kind of a fund raiser to support the Greenwood neighborhood. Maple Leaf Life is such a great communication tool. Perhaps we could put out the idea and see what kind of response we can get and if anyone wanted to head it up.

Certainly a good thought if folks want to make it happen.

There is a central locus for collection efforts. From our sister site PhinneyWood, which posted it Thursday:

The Phinney Neighborhood Association set up a special donation page. Donations are tax-deductible and 100% will go to help affected businesses. If you don’t want to donate online, checks can be made out to Phinney Neighborhood Association with “Greenwood disaster relief” in the memo and sent to: PNA – Greenwood Relief Fund, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103. (more…)

Comments Off Tags: ,   Share

Power lost in NE Maple Leaf during wind storm

March 10th, 2016 by Mike

Update 8:13 a.m.: Wind gust to 35 mph.

Update: City Lights estimates power returns around 8:30 a.m. For updates go to the utility’s outage map.

Power was lost at 5 a.m. to over 3,400 neighbors in the northeast part of Maple Leaf and up into Pinehurst.

Winds at the time were blowing up to 39 mph as measured here at Maple Leaf Life South. (Rain = 1.15″.)

Shortly before 6 a.m., Seattle City Light has 3,544 customers without power, most of them here.

In the broader area, Puget Sound Energy reports over 43,000 without power.

The Seattle Times is updating a regional story.

Comments Off Tags: ,   Share

Updates on bus service, Roosevelt Way work

March 9th, 2016 by Mike

Is your bus route changing?

————————————–

Over at Re-think Green, Julia has done a lot of work on the changes coming to our bus service as the University Light Rail station opens later this month.

This post is for my peeps who ride Metro (or may want to ride Metro) in the North part of Northeast Seattle. I’m talking ‘bout Lake City, Olympic Hills, Jackson Park, Pinehurst, Northgate, and Maple Leaf. My hood.

Her specific post is here: Metro Changes: A summary for Northgate & Lake City. (The short take, I think, is that many routes that now go downtown will go instead to the light rail station.)

Meanwhile, the Seattle Bike Blog has reported on the extensive work coming to Roosevelt Way this year from Northeast 65th Street to the University Bridge.

Major work to repave Roosevelt Way and rebuild it with transit, biking and walking improvements starts March 14, SDOT says.

That report is here: Work starts soon on major Roosevelt Way repaving & redesign, will last most of 2016.

→ 15 Comments Tags: , , ,   Share

UPDATE: Stolen cars, including a Northgate carjacking

March 8th, 2016 by Mike

Update March 9: Kevin emails this morning to report two hit-and-run sideswipes.

Last night around 1:30 a.m., near the intersection of 20th Avenue Northeast @ Northeast 88th Street, a vehicle ( possibly a black Honda Civic) side swiped both my wife’s and my cars , leaving extensive damage. A police report has been filed.

My neighbor mentioned he heard the incident, but got to the window too late to see the car involved. He did mention however, that a woman walking her dog was in the middle of the street and may have witnessed the collisions.

Wondering if you could reach out to your readers to see if any one else on 20th Avenue was hit and/or if we can locate this woman and get her to come forward with any detail she may be able to provide.

——————————

A neighbor emails today that a stolen car was abandoned in a carport in the 9800 block of Fifth Avenue Northeast.

A fellow tenant had left a note on the car’s windshield, asking the owner to move it. This Honda had no license plates and looked as if it had been hit on the driver’s side; the exterior rear-view mirror on that side was hanging down and the doors were unlocked.

Police determined the car had been stolen a month previously.

The map below shows stolen cars in the Maple Leaf area so far this year, according to police reports. There are several dozen of them.

In addition, more information is now available on a carjacker who was arrested last week after stealing a Lexus from Northgate Mall at the end of February. From police:

Detectives believe the 18-year-old suspect approached the woman around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29th, as she was getting out of her car in the Northgate parking lot.

The teen demanded the woman’s keys and told her he had a gun. He then climbed into the woman’s car, joined by a second male suspect, and sped off.

Two days later, on March 1st, police received a report of a hit-and-run at Aurora Avenue North and North 50th Street,  after the same silver Lexus smashed into two other cars and drove off.

A witness followed the Lexus to North 63rd Street and West Greenlake Way North, where the 18-year-old driver and his female passenger bailed out of the car and took off running.

Officers found the suspect and his passenger–his 17-year-old girlfriend–at North 61st Street and Linden Avenue North.

Police found the Lexus’s key in the 18-year-old’s pocket and booked him into the King County Jail for robbery, auto theft and a felony warrant. Officers also booked his girlfriend into the Youth Service Center for auto theft.

Comments Off Tags: , , , ,   Share